The Smart Boys Come to “Old Bangor”


The Smart Boys Come to “Old Bangor”
or
Checking the Facts in Family Legends

Sandra Dugans Burke

 Many families have stories and legends that have been passed down through generations.  One of the family reunions I have attended since childhood always included reading a poem detailing the family history.  I decided to check the facts and found some surprising results! 

“When our people crossed the ocean
Around seventeen seventy-one,
They landed in old Bangor
When the town was first begun.”

So starts a poem written for Smart Reunion 1939 by Anson F. “Uncle Anse” Smart. It makes a lovely beginning and rhymes well, but a bit of poetic license seems to have taken over some of the facts! It is true that the “Smart Boys” arrived in “old Bangor” (actually called Conduskeag then) in 1771 and there were only two families in residence there:[1] they did NOT, however, sail across the ocean, but only up the coast from Brunswick, Maine, where the family had lived for two generations. Of course, the Smarts had at some point sailed across the ocean, the most likely ancestor being a Thomas Smart and his wife Margaret. They and their sons, John and Robert, sailed from Hingham, Norfolkshire, England, in 1635. They settled in Exeter, Massachusetts.[2]  The first Smart ancestors for whom we have primary evidence are brothers John, Robert, and Thomas Smart who appear in Brunswick in the mid 1730’s.[3] The continual recurrence of the names John, Robert, Thomas, and Margaret in our family have indicated to most researchers that the 1635 Thomas and Margaret were probably our original immigrant ancestors.

In 1809, Thomas Howard of Bangor wrote in a deposition:

“. . . moved in to this country in the year 1771 in April with Capt Thomas Smart and was landed on Conduskeag point, and built a house for Capt. Smart. . . . There came at the same time John Smart, Hugh Smart, Jacob Dennet [and 3 others; Jacob Dennet was married to Elizabeth Smart]. . . . We all assisted in building a house for Capt. Smart.  In May following, Capt. Smart moved his family down. . . .”[4]

Thomas, John, Hugh, Elizabeth, and Margaret (married to James Budge) were the children of Robert and Katharine Smart of Brunswick.[5] These 5 siblings were among the very first settlers of what would become Bangor, Maine.

A journal written at the time describes:

. . . three brothers who went to sea and owned a coaster together. Thomas was the captain, John and Hugh sometimes went on trips. They talked large and were disposed to be ‘bullies’. Hugh was never married and died at sea, the others at home.[6]

Thomas and John Smart took lots on the north side of the ‘conduskeag’ stream. Thomas built a large cabin on the rise of land where the Kenduskeag meets the Penobscot (about where All Souls Congregational Church now sits).[7] Robert Treat in his journal of the time, states “Thomas’ house was about 30 rods from the river and the woods were so thick that we could not see the river from the house.” [Hard to imagine now!] John Smart had a lot next to Mr. Harlow’s, a bit further up the Kenduskeag Stream. On the 1801 maps it looks to run from the stream to above where the Bangor Public Library sits today. John Smart helped build and was part owner, with William Hammond of one of the first mills on the Kenduskeag.[8]

Penobscot River along bottom, Kenduskeag Stream joining at Y junction.

Lot # 67 belonged to John Smart.  #66 to Mr. Harlow and #70 to Wm Hammond.[9]

The same source mentions: “September 18, 1774, Rev Daniel Little of Kennebunk was at Captain Smart’s at Condeskeag. It being Sunday, he preached and baptized six children.”[10] This was the first-known record of a church service in Bangor. John Smart and brother-in-law James Budge would later donate land to build the first meeting house.[11]

Capt. Thomas Smart died in March 1776 and was buried on his lot. John Smart and his family moved in to “help” the widow. A tax list for heads of families in 1776 lists John Smart (1 pound, 7 shillings, 9 pence) and widow Elizabeth Smart, along with Jacob Dennett and James Budge. The Smarts and their in-laws owned a good bit of the town![12]

Alas, the Smarts’ living arrangements were not working out! John, his wife Olive and family, widow Elizabeth and family, and John’s mother, Katharine, were all living in the house Thomas had built. Widow Elizabeth and children soon left to go back to Brunswick, with assurances that money and supplies would be sent from the estate. A great deal of controversy arose over the next twenty years, resulting in lawsuits and depositions that detail the disagreements over the handling of the estate. For a full account, you can check out Ruth Gray’s article, “The Homestead of Thomas Smart of Bangor: Gleaning Genealogical Information from Depositions.”[13]

“Great Grandad raised six sprightly girls
Who helped the world move on
He also had three likely boys,
Named Thomas, Hugh and John.
John married Mary Lyford
And raised a family
But his two brothers, Hugh and Tom
I am told were lost at sea.”

John I (Great Grandad) and Olive Smart had at least 11 children: Hugh Percy (approx. 1774–1807), Elizabeth, Mary (Polly), Katherine (1773–1826), Sarah (1779–1854), Olive (1783–1838), John II (1785–1853), Margaret (1790–?), Rebecca (1792–?), Francis (1793–?), and David (1798–1823). Family myth apparently has confused the generations: it was Great Grandad’s brother Hugh who was lost at sea. John II (who married Mary Lyford) had 7 sisters and 3 brothers, Hugh Percy and David died young, but not at sea. Francis owned land in Howland in 1830 but does not appear again in records.[14]

John Smart I died intestate in July 1805, and the probate and inventory of his estate can be found in Penobscot County Probate Records. His wife, Olive, was appointed administratrix; she was illiterate, her mark appears on all documents. At the time of his death, John owned ninety-one acres of land and buildings on the shores of the Kenduskeag, assessed at $1365, and personal assets of $304.16. He had a long list of debts, however, and Olive needed funds to support minor children, so the court ordered the land to be sold. The street through the land once owned by John is now called Harlow St. for his neighbor who owned the next lot.

 Checking the facts in this family poem greatly enriched our family story. Yes, there was a bit of poetic license taken, but what was learned was so much more than what had been passed down.

The first Smart Reunion held in 1891 to celebrate the visit of two of John II’s “Sprightly” daughters who had gone with their husbands to California for the Gold Rush. (Photo from Ancestors and Descendants of John and Mary Lyford Smart, used with permission of the authors).


[1] J. E. Godfrey The Annals of Bangor in The History of Penobscot County (1882), p. 517.
[2] R. C. Anderson, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634–1635 (2009), 6:318–19
[3] J. C. Anderson, Vital Records of Brunswick, Maine, 1740–1860 (2004).
[4] Annals of Bangor, p. 517.
[5] Vital Records of Brunswick, Maine, p. 24.
[6] Annals of Bangor, p. 517.
[7] Annals of Bangor, p. 517.
[8] Annals of Bangor, p. 539.
[9] Map from The History of Penobscot County (1882), p. 514.
[10] Annals of Bangor, p. 518.
[11] Annals of Bangor, p. 531.
[12] Annals of Bangor, p. 522–23.
[13] The Maine Genealogist (1996) 18:57–62.
[14] Frances D. Dekin, Helen H. Deag & Sandra D. Burke, Ancestors and Descendants of John and Mary Lyford Smart (2016).

 

Living in Maine

By Marjorie (Schultz) Bullard

Edited and shared by her son Jay Bullard

Foreword

On a cold rainy morning in May 1989, the descendants of William and Nina (Bowerman) Schultz gathered at Sangerfield Village Cemetery to attend the burial of their younger son, Sieferd B. Schultz.  Later the family met at our home in Guilford to get warm, to have something to eat and drink, to look at old photos and snapshots and talk about our life in Maine.

The grandchildren had many questions about our moving to from Mayville, Michigan to Maine and especially about the houses we had lived in after the move to Maine.

Sometime later I wrote a short article and showed it to several of my family.  Most of them praised it, but, “Well,” it is good, or, why didn’t you put in this or I wish you had added that.  So, this is the revised edition of my first attempt.

Our Journey from Michigan to Maine

In August 1924, Bill and Nina Schultz with their four children, Doris, John, Sieferd and me, Marjorie, left our home in Mayville, Michigan to start a new life in Guilford, Maine.   Bill had been working at the Chevrolet plant in Flint. He stayed in Flint during the week and came home weekends, but that wasn’t an ideal situation with mother being alone with four children most of the time. Before working in Flint, he had been employed by Lloyd Cartwright, the owner of a general store in Mayville.  A few years before Mr. Cartwright had bought a new business in Maine, the hardwood products mill in Guilford.  He offered Dad a job and that was the beginning of a new life for all of us in Maine.

After packing our belongings and paying the last visit to all our relatives, we set out. We traveled in a model T Ford, Dad, Doris, John, Sieferd, me (Marjorie) and Mother, seven months pregnant. Yes, we were crowded.  The car was only two years old, but cars, especially tires, wore out quickly those days.

Niagara Falls - Photo by Shelby L. Bell (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

Niagara Falls

The first day we crossed Lake Huron on a ferry and were then in Ontario. From Ontario, we came back into the United States at Niagara Falls.  What a thrill that was.  The falls is a beautiful place to visit for anyone, but for a family who had never been outside the state of Michigan, it was very exciting. As for me, the big attraction was the huge building housing the Shredded Wheat factory. Yes, Shredded Wheat is still my favorite cereal.

I am not certain where we stayed each night, but I do know we stayed nights at farmhouses and homes that catered to travelers, charging a dollar a bed. Needless to say, we doubled up.

We made our way East through New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire and finally into Maine. The trip through those states had both amusing and depressing moments. We had many flat tires, one after another.  Lots of tires to patch and put back on the wheels.  One morning we were sitting in a restaurant eating our breakfast when we heard a tire blow; we laughed and said, “That wasn’t ours.” Imagine our surprise when we left the restaurant.  There sat the car with a flat tire.  Back to work Dad and sons.

Another thing that was new to us coming from a flat area of Michigan was all the hills and mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire. Many times Dad had to turn around and back up the mountains. To all of us, this was our first sight of the Atlantic Ocean. I couldn’t see much difference between the ocean and Lake Huron. My sister Doris and I had been given some change and bought a souvenir. Doris bought a sweetgrass basket and I still have my small vase with butterflies painted on it.  This was our first day in Maine. And the place was Old Orchard. That afternoon we drove to Waterville and stayed overnight at a farmhouse nearby.

The next day, the twentieth of August, and Doris’s fifteenth birthday, we arrived in Guilford.  We were expected, for Mr. Cartwright had made all the arrangements.  We had our furniture transported by railway car and had a house rented for us.

Settling in Maine

Our first house in Guilford was on the back road to Abbot. We had a busy afternoon moving in and getting settled. We lived there for three months and I remember it as a happy time.  The house had both front and back stairways, something new to us and all children like to travel up one way and down the other.  We also got acquainted with our neighbors and they made us feel very welcome, especially Charles and Mary Adams. We were very close to them until they died.

In September we children started school in Abbot.  I remember riding to school in a horse-drawn school bus. At least I did, but when I mentioned it to Doris years later she said, “You did, we older ones had to walk.”

On September 28, our sister Gertrude Merlene was born.  What a pretty baby she was with her curly brown hair and brown eyes.

Pick Mill in 1938 - Source: Puritan Medical Products Company, LLC - used by permission.

Pick Mill, Guilford, Maine – 1938 – Image courtesy of Puritan Medical Products, LLC.

We lived in that house until Thanksgiving weekend and then a house was found for us in Guilford. This was a two-family house on High Street across from the Gene Genthener Farm. We lived in that house for the next nine months and then moved to the square house on School Street opposite the Pick Mill. We stayed there for ten years.  When Dad first went to work in the Pick Mill, he worked in the warehouse, getting acquainted with the products. But about this time he was promoted to foreman in the packing department, a position he held until he retired the last of October 1952.

A lot happened in those ten years. On August 17, 1927, mother gave birth to Patricia Jean.  She was as pretty as Trudy but had blonde hair and blue eyes. We always called her Pat or Patty.

By 1933 our family had shrunk to Dad, Mom and we three girls at home.  But we had gained three in-laws and three grandchildren and by the end of March 1935, four more.

In June of that year, I graduated from Guilford High School.  Soon after I went to work in the mill, twelve dollars a week. Lucky me. That summer was the last of us living on School Street because Dad and Mother bought a big house on the corner of Summer and Pleasant Street from Luella Littlefield. That house would remain in our family for the next 61 years. The house had nine rooms, two stairways, halls upstairs and down, a bathroom, a pantry, a glassed-in porch and a shed all under one roof. In addition, there was a garage and a two-story shed with two smaller sheds attached to it. Of course, we didn’t have furniture to fill it up but we added other items as we could. I had the big front room upstairs and to go with my bed and dresser, I bought a couch a chair and a desk.  The desk I bought from Wards with the money I received at graduation time. Twenty dollars from a scholarship, two from John and Harriet, two from Mama Adams, and I can’t remember where the other dollar came from. Yes, the desk cost twenty-five dollars. Imagine my surprise when I walked into Wards Store just before they closed and saw a similar desk priced at 325 dollars. Inflation…I also bought a cedar chest. That twelve dollars weekly went a long way.

A New House

We moved into our new home the Saturday before Labor Day. At that time the house was painted dark brown and had a circular driveway around it. Below that was a large area where Dad would have a large vegetable garden every year and Mother had a flower garden. She grew beautiful sweet peas, I can smell them now. What she really cherished was her gladiolus. When we think of her, we think glads.

The heating was with wood stoves, a big one in the den, another in the living room, and in the kitchen a black iron cook stove. Upstairs was another wood stove.  What a cold house that was.

Jay and his mother - 1945 - From author's collection

Jay Bullard and his mother – 1945

The big change in our lived came from having more room to have get-togethers and we had many, some planned, others impromptu. I remember Sunday night card parties. Cards were a big part of our life, sixty-three, Michigan Rummy and of course, cribbage. I almost forgot solitaire, at least for Mother and me. Mostly the family just dropped by. The grandchildren loved those stairways, up and down, up and down, trying to hide from the others or scare them. Another reason to visit was Grammy’s big glass cookie jar in the pantry. Everyone knew Grammy baked sugar cookies on Saturday. Years later, when my nephew visited my husband and me, he kept going to the pantry door and standing there looking for something. Finally, I asked him what he was looking for. And he said, “Where’s Grammy’s cookie jar.” The next time he came, I hurried to make a batch of cookies, but anyone could see they didn’t measure up.

Another attraction was what the children called the playroom. This was the open chamber over the dining room. The playroom was unfinished and mostly used for storage.  The Christmas before we left Michigan, the man who was our next door neighbor there had made a doll’s bed, table, and cupboard. Along with Trudy’s and Pat’s dolls and playthings, it was an ideal place to spend hours and probably gave the adults a better chance to play cards. And in the summer we had a great attraction. The well with a pump, always ready to be pumped. Oh, the water fights, many of them. All the kids were always ready to gather there.

The County was gradually recovering from the Depression, everyone was working, life was getting easier and I gave my mother the princely sum of three dollars each week from my twelve so she would have more spending money. She joined the Grange and Farm Bureau, now Extension. That organization met at members’ homes in a rotation for dinner and meetings. Mother was great at handicrafts such as crocheting and had our home fixed up so that she and the rest of the family were proud to have guests.

We also had some of our relatives from Michigan visiting occasionally. I remember those years as a happy era. Most of the family was working, seemed to be happy and life was good. I married Edwin Bullard and moved to Dexter. The Mountains lived there and Edwin had his Father and Mother, two brothers, Albert and John, a sister Ina and best of all two grandmothers and a grandfather. I had never known either of my grandmothers so that was wonderful for me. In June 1938, we had a son Phillip. He was born in the front bedroom of the family home and Mother took care of me, the same as she had done for the births of all her other grandchildren. The next year John and Harriet had another daughter, Barbara. That was the last time Mother was a midwife.

World War Two started in September of 1939 and times began to change, business began to pick up. In 1940 Edwin and I had another son, Edwin Junior (J.R.) in October.  He went by various nicknames until he was about eighteen and told us he wanted to be called Jay. He is still Jay to this day.

Wassebec Genealogical Society Workshop May 19th.

 

Photo by Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer

On May 19th the Wassebec Chapter will sponsor a free workshop to be held in the Sebec Room in Mayo Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. From 9 to 12 the speaker will be Judy Reitze, former director of the Family History Center in Bangor.  Judy will take us through using the Family Search website which can get confusing at times.  From 1-4 Nina Brawn, a former columnist for the Piscataquis Observer will be with us to take us through using Ancestry.com.  Snacks and lunch are included. If you aren’t already pre-registered for the workshop, please do that as soon as you can.  We are limited in the number the room will legally hold and would like to have a good idea how many to expect by May 15h if possible. If you have questions, need directions, or want any other info, please get in touch with Nancy Battick 564-3576 or NormaJean Mahar 564-7363. Hope to see you at the workshop,  

Passing of Clyde G. Berry

It is with great sadness I report the passing of Clyde G. Berry on 5 May 2018.

Photo of Clyde Berry

Clyde Berry

Clyde was an avid genealogist; he was a life member of the Maine Genealogical Society and has served as Treasurer and Director. He was a member and President of the Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS and past President of the Penobscot Chapter of MGS. He was a life member and Past President of the Maine Old Cemetery Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. He served as President of the Somerville Historical Society of Somerville, Maine and was involved with the publishing of the History of Patricktown/Somerville, Maine. He was a member of The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, descended from Labon P. Frost of Glenburn and John H. Johnson of Wellington, and also was a member and Past President of Maine Society Sons of the American Revolution, descended from Sargent Shaw, Richard Whitten and Daniel Tarbox. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s Society of Maine. He has also belonged to the Colson, Reynolds, McKusick and Hubbard family associations.

He is survived by a brother, Charles R. Berry of Glenburn, Maine, many cousins and friends.

He will be deeply missed.

2018 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service

During the MGS 2018 Spring Workshop, Paul Doucette received the 2018 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service. MGS President Carol P. McCoy presented the award to Paul. Congratulations Paul!

Maine Genealogical Society

Award of Excellence

In Genealogical Service

Presented to

PAUL DOUCETTE

In recognition of his enthusiasm, dedication, and leadership in genealogy as a Maine Genealogical Society director and member of the Program Committee, as a Past President of the Greater Portland Chapter MGS, and as the inspiration for the Southern Maine Genealogy Conference.

Thank you!

Maine will miss you

April 21, 2018

Photo of Paul Doucette & Carol McCoy by Don Taylor

Paul Doucette & Carol McCoy

Sharing What You Know….and what you have

By Deborah Nowers

When Joe Anderson suggested that our workshop this year should focus on writing, I was delighted.  His comment, “after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured your heirs won’t either!” struck home.  I am the end of several lines of ancestors who were interested in family history and kept things.  I needed a way to share my research and document the things that I had inherited.  I also needed to find homes for documents and objects I couldn’t keep.  I hoped they would stay in the family.

I took “write it up” broadly.  In my presentation at the conference, I described four ways that I had shared what I knew and what I had.

Image for Sharing What you Know.

The first was to write a genealogy article.  I chose Gramma Withey’s table and the sampler inside that corrected the published Boynton genealogy.  The resulting article was published in The Essex Genealogist.

Then I described a collection of photographs, postcards, and documents from Grampy’s Footlocker that depicted my Grandfather’s service with the Post Office during World War I. Because it was almost exactly 100 years after his departure for France, American Ancestors magazine though it would be timely for a fall 2017 issue.

When I emptied my mother’s house, I needed to find homes for ancestral furniture that I couldn’t use.  The 1790’s canopy bed delighted my cousin’s granddaughter.  It had belonged to her 5th great-grandparents.  I decided that a children’s book describing the owners of the bed would help her—and her mother and grandmother—know its history.  “Haven’s Bed” was the result.

Finally, my husband and I found thirteen monogrammed coin silver spoons in the cellar of my mother-in-law’s house.  When we distributed them to descendants, I included a genealogy sketch that outlined the recipient’s descent from the original owner—with each one’s line highlighted.  It was practice writing for me and perhaps sparked an interest in genealogy for those who received it.

And here is the fifth way…share what you know on the MGS Blog.  It is less intimidating than articles in a prescribed format.  A post can be short.  It can be a description of how you solved a problem, or like me, tell a story about your family.  Have you discovered a great library or historical society that not enough people know about?  Tell us!  My goal is to have a posting each week; for that to happen, we need lots of help.  Give it a shot.  Submit to blog@maineroots.org.  Pictures are welcomed.

If you are reading this and want to keep up with the blog, subscribe to email notifications of new postings.  Add your email address where it says “Subscribe to Blog Via Email.”  Easy, and guaranteed it will be more interesting than most of your emails.

UPDATE—Maine Calling About Genealogy

Carol McCoy, Radio host Keith Shortall, & Nancy Mason.

UPDATE: Radio Show Available Online!

Carol & Nancy had a great show. If you missed it, it is available online at Maine Public Radio – “Genealogy: Interest In Researching Family Roots Surges.”


Wow—here’s a fun invitation. MGS is coming to Public Radio! Cindy Han, a producer of Maine Public’s Radio interactive show–Maine Calling–called to invite me to speak about genealogy on the radio this Wednesday. I’ll be a guest on Maine Calling on April 18th from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. I’ll be joined by the show host, Keith Shortall and DNA expert Nancy Mason in the Portland studio of Maine Public Radio.

Nancy and I will be talking about doing genealogy research, especially in Maine. We are excited to answer your questions or at least try to answer them! Listeners will be able to contact us with their questions in three ways. First, you can call in on 1-800-399-3566. Second, you can email your questions to talk@mainepublic.org.
Third, you can tweet them @MaineCalling. You can listen to the show live on your local Maine Public Radio station from 1:00 to 2:00 or hear a rebroadcast at 8:00 p.m. Maine Calling will post this show on their Facebook page the morning of the show.

Maine Towns with Vital Records

MAINE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

MAINE TOWNS WITH VITAL RECORDS

Many original town vital records are now available to view free on the FamilySearch.org website. One must sign in to be able to view the images. Once signed in, bring up the drop-down menu “search”, select “catalog” and enter the name of the town you are searching for. The following listing shows towns and counties in Maine, many of which have been filmed and are now available on their website. Some were filmed but are not yet available to view on their website while others were never filmed. Those not filmed or unavailable online may be for records after 1896 or may have been lost due to fire or other damage to the original records. In the column entitled “Records Available”, I have indicated the years which were filmed and whether available online or not. Some records have been published and that information, when known, has been indicated in the appropriate columns. The published records may be available in many larger libraries. If a town’s records have been published in their entirety, no information has been given regarding film availability.
Marlene A. Groves

Updated 27 March 2018

Download File: Maine Towns Published.PDF

President McCoy Speaks In Scarborough

Photo of Carol McCoy & Don Taylor

Carol McCoy & Don Taylor

On February 27th, MGS President Carol P. McCoy spoke at the Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group on “Drowning of Sam Pollack – Myth and Reality – Investigating Family Stories.” Her presentation revolved around her great-grandfather’s death when her grandmother was an infant and her research to separate myth from reality in telling his story. Her talk fascinated the 34 attendees and reminded them of important genealogical research strategies such as remaining flexible about names, dates, and religion as well as remaining creative in approaching research. The Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group began last October and is led by MGS Member, and assistant MGS webmaster, Don Taylor. The group meets regularly at 1 PM on the fourth Monday of the month at the Scarborough Public Library. Their Facebook group page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/314420085632060/ (or search for “Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group”).

Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society

The Washington County Historical and Genealogical Society is a group dedicated to historical preservation and genealogical research in Washington County, Maine. By working together historical societies, genealogists, and researchers can pool their limited resources, collaborate on larger scale projects, and promote each other’s work.
Members receive a quarterly newsletter Weirs & Woods, which features free queries, information and the exchange of genealogical material, in addition to news from the affiliating Washington County historical societies.  Membership in the WCHGS is open to anyone interested in learning more about their family genealogy and/or the history of Washington County and neighboring Charlotte County, New Brunswick.  Officers include President, Betsy Fitzgerald of Bucks Harbor; Vice President, Celeste Sherman of Machiasport; Secretary, Valdine Atwood of Machias, and Treasurer, Carole Sprague of Marshfield.

WCH&GS Contact Information –   Officers:

Annual dues, $10 per calendar year: Send to Treasurer Carole Sprague, 301 Ridge Rd., Marshfield, ME 04654 – Check payable to WCH&GS: Regular meetings of WCHGS will be on a quarterly basis. ‘Extra meetings’ could be held during the year at the approval of the membership. Historical societies can affiliate themselves with WCHGS by donating to the Society.

Newsletter – Weirs & Woods –

Send Changes of Address to: Celeste Sherman at folknoter@maineline.net. Send submissions for what is going on, Queries, Reunions, and stories on Washington County History or Genealogy to Valdine Atwood at valdine@myfairpoint.net or by mail to 17 Colonial Way, Machias, ME 04654  

Membership

Membership in the Washington County His­torical & Genealogical Society is by the calendar year, January to December. For those joining later in the year, newsletters already published will be sent to you. The reason for this policy, we are a small organization so it is too difficult to keep track of mid-year renewals.

2018 Spring Workshop – Writing Your Family History

Writing Your Family History

Guest Speaker: Joseph C. Anderson, II FASG

April 21, 2018 – 9:00am to 4:00 pm

(Registration from 8 to 9)

Elks Lodge, 397 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

What do I do with all the research I have accumulated? The simple answer is to write it up, publish it, and make your family proud. The Spring Workshop, led by the editor of The Maine Genealogist, Joseph C. Anderson, will cover the steps to turn your yellowing, dusty files into the printed word.  Along the way, you will learn many of the tricks and tools that professional writers use to make the writing process simpler. The morning session will delve into a range of topics, including:
  • Defining the writing project
  • Assembling your research notes
  • Using writing as a research tool
  • Compiling a resource and style sheet
  • Exploring ways to make your writing come alive
  • Choosing a publisher to fit your project and budget
The afternoon session will focus on how to write for a genealogical periodical and include a presentation by MGS’s Membership Secretary, Deb Nowers, on how family heirlooms inspired her to write about her ancestors. Wrapping up, there will be a session covering illustrations, indexes and bibliographies, copyright considerations, and the printing process.  If you have ever considered writing a blog, a family newsletter, or a book about that quirky ancestor, this workshop will give you the tools to make that happen. Because, after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured, your heirs won’t either!
Joseph C. Anderson II is the editor of The Maine Genealogist, coeditor of The American Genealogist, consulting editor of Vermont Genealogy, and editor of MGS’s Maine Families in 1790 project. He has authored or edited eighteen books on various genealogical subjects and contributed dozens of articles to genealogical journals. In 2000 he was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (FASG).

SOLD OUT

 

Maine Marriage Records

“Seeing the Light Through a Brick Wall” – Photo Credit: By counterclockwise via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I had the opportunity to be a Genealogy “brick wall buster” at the MGS Genealogy Fair last July. What a great experience. They say, “In teaching others we teach ourselves.[i]” Likewise, helping others with their “brick walls” is an amazing process wherein the helper learns. One of my querists wanted to know, “How to find marriage records in Maine.”

As I thought about how I would approach the question I thought of several Wikis and asked the person if they used the Family Search wiki. She said, “No.” As I went through the day, I realized how few people knew about the two best genealogy wiki sites on the Internet. Everyone I spoke to during the day used Family Search and Ancestry.Com, but none of them ever used either of the two wikis; most didn’t even know they existed.

I prefer the Family Search wiki. http://familysearch.org/wiki.  It seems always to provide the answer to my research questions.  For example, a search for Maine Marriage Records brings me to a page that explained the differences in records before 1892, between 1892 and 1922, and since 1922 and described where to find them.

The Ancestry Wiki: http://ancestry.com/wiki/ is also a hidden gem – a fountain of information. Many people have subscriptions to Ancestry and many others access Ancestry through their local libraries, but I found few use the Ancestry Wiki. The results I received from searching the Ancestry Wiki for “Maine Marriage Records,” was not quite as clear as Family Search but did quickly lead me to a Maine Vital Records page, which also told me all I needed to know.

The Maine Genealogy Network is one of my favorite sites for specifically Maine research. They have many Maine Specific databases, see http://www.mainegenealogy.net/databases.asp for a list of them. There is also a great article about “Finding Maine County Marriage Returns,” which explains methods to access some of the early Maine marriage records that may exist. 

MGS has a series of books on vital records. See the MGS Vital Records Page for more information. Books currently in print include:

VITAL RECORDS OF ________, MAINE

  • ARROWSIC to 1939. Compiled by Deb Grana & Marlene A. Groves.
  • BRUNSWICK. Compiled by Joseph Crook Anderson II, CG, FASG.
  • CAMDEN/ROCKPORT. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
  • CASTINE. Compiled by James H. Wick.
  • CUSHING to 1940. Compiled & ed. by Marlene A. Groves & Steven E. Sullivan.
  • DOVER-FOXCROFT. Compiled by John F. Battick, Ph.D. and Nancy Klimavicz Battick, M.A
  • DRESDEN. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • EDGECOMB. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • ETNA. by Arthur Gibbs Sylvester and Richard E. Spinney.
  • GOULDSBORO. Compiled by Wil Cote.
  • ISLESBORO. and ed. by Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves, CG
  • LISBON. by Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves.
  • MERCER. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • MINOT. Compiled by Joseph Crook Anderson II, CG, FASG.
  • MOUNT VERNON. by Sally Furber Nelson & Janet McCarthy Weymouth
  • NEWCASTLE. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • OLD TOWN. Ed. by Ruth Gray
  • ORLAND. Compiled by James H. Wick.
  • SMITHFIELD. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • SOUTH THOMASTON. Comp. and ed. by Marlene A. Groves, CG
  • THOMASTON 1837 TO 1846. by Steven Edward Sullivan.
  • THOMASTON. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
  • WARREN. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
  • WAYNE. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
  • WOOLWICH. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.

Besides being available from the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS), they and many other out-of-print books in the series are available at libraries and historical societies. Check Minerva or for libraries where they may be available.

[i] Proverb.